Monday, March 23, 2009

The Big Mama: Puttin' The "Big" In Ride And Smile!

<===There she is, in all her "bigness"!

The Salsa Cycles frame that came in for testing on Twenty Nine Inches is finished and rideable. Let me explain a little something here before I get into this particular build.....

The Salsa Sol Sessions last June was the official unveiling of this model. You can read what I said about it here. The main thing that impressed me was how "hard tail-like" it rode in terms of climbing and acceleration. It felt very "XC-able", although Jason Boucher, head honcho at Salsa, told me it really wasn't that kind of bike. I thought it was! It felt fast and fun. Very single track friendly, and it is. But that is only one facet of this rig, and I just found that out.

See, I only got to ride the Big Mama prototype, and it was set up with a 100mm travel Fox. That makes the bike ride a "certain way", shall we say? Well, my build is quite different.

The fork I am using is the Reba Team set at 120mm, with a Maxle, and with the burly Gordo rims it is not your typical XC/Trail set up. I have a short KORE stem , Salsa riser bars, a bit shorter reach to the bars, and Ergon Team GE-1 grips. My set up gives the Big Mama a static BB height of 14 3/8ths inches. (Center of BB to ground) So it's not yer typical 29"er!

I know that one little test ride isn't going to give me a verdict on this bike, but I have a strong indication of where this is leading! It is going to be a lot of fun. I already have cleaned a set of railroad tie stairs that didn't even faze this rig going uphill! Yeah.......can you say "rock crawler" I think I put the wrong crank on this rig. Maybe I should switch out my LX crank for a SLX with a bash ring!

There is a lot more going on with the Big Mama than just this though, and I'll get around to all of that, but for now I know that this bike puts "big" in the Big Mama. And I'm going to like that a whole lot.

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